The first genome-wide association study of dental caries focused on primary teeth in children aged 3 to 12 yr and nominated several novel genes: ACTN2, EDARADD, EPHA7, LPO, MPPED2, MTR, and ZMPSTE24. Here we interrogated 156 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within these candidate genes for evidence of association with dental caries experience in 13 race- and age-stratified samples from 6 independent studies (n = 3600). Analysis was performed separately for each sample, and results were combined across samples via meta-analysis. MPPED2 was significantly associated with caries via meta-analysis across the 5 childhood samples, with 4 SNPs showing significant associations after gene-wise adjustment for multiple comparisons (p < .0026). These results corroborate the previous genome-wide association study, although the functional role of MPPED2 in caries etiology remains unknown. ACTN2 also showed significant association via meta-analysis across childhood samples (p = .0014). Moreover, in adults, genetic association was observed for ACTN2 SNPs in individual samples (p < .0025), but no single SNP was significant via meta-analysis across all 8 adult samples. Given its compelling biological role in organizing ameloblasts during amelogenesis, this study strengthens the hypothesis that ACTN2 influences caries risk. Results for the other candidate genes neither proved nor precluded their associations with dental caries.
- Single nucleotide polymorphism
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